SciFi Magazine (August 2012):
Lucius Fox wrote:Dear Bruce,
I hope this letter finds you well. Although I would have liked to have had this conversation with you personally, Alfred tells you I am better off writing as you are not having any visitors at the moment. That being the case, I’ll detail what I feel is becoming a situation within the company.
It’s a given that in the current economic environment our investors have become increasingly concerned about how their money is being spent. As such, profitability is being judged and analyzed, particularly by the board itself, in the past we haven’t given them any reason to worry as both our earnings and spending have been consistent. This allowed me the autonomy to dedicate resources to the Wayne Foundation philanthropic programs as well as R+D endeavors. But over the past five quarters our earnings have been on a downtrend. Meanwhile, our R+D spending has been on an astronomical uptrend. And the black grows fainter around the entire company, I am being put into a position where I have to answer some questions, particularly about your energy project.
No one is going to dispute the fact that innovation is key to our growth and success, it's a mainstay of our business, which is the main reason why the board have begun to scrutinize our R+D budget, and set their sights on your machine. Since they don’t know exactly what you are up to, all they understand is a vast amount of capital.
The last time we spoke, you expressed your reluctance to move the project forward and initiate the next phase of trials. I understood your argument as to why. But if you want the company to continue to fund your efforts, I think it is time we give the board more than just the overview you have, enlightening them on what their project will mean to Gotham if you are successful. On a personal note, I would also like to let them know that with age, Bruce Wayne has decided to fill his father’s shoes, using Wayne Enterprises and all its resources to readily and reliably support our city.
Nothing bad can come from this, Bruce. But if you decide not to address this issue at hand, I am not sure how long I can hold the board at bay. Making matters more difficult in your absence, I am assuming you have your reasons for it and not my job to question those, but I fear that if you are going to drop off the radar for an extended period of time, we may risk another Bill Earle situation. I can see a couple board members already maneuvering to build influence around the table, most notably John Daggett, who I feel is the last person we want to engage in a power struggle.
When I argued the table on their role I know full well what the job and our arrangement entailed. I am also well aware of your preferred way of handling all matters relating to Wayne Enterprises, however I must tell you we are quickly approaching a set of circumstances that will unfortunately call for a change if we do not address the board. Change in most instances is not a bad thing, but in this regard I am worried.
I’m sure you consider my pessimism to be just another part of my charisma. That may be the case, but let’s remember: you didn’t hire me for my charm. I look forward to hearing from you. With luck it will be in person.